Memorial Day 2016

I typically use the same post every Memorial Day to remind American readers of their freedoms. Every year, families and friends gather to grill meat and wave flags, but getting a day off from work and drinking a beer doesn’t really do justice to those that have lost their lives in service of the United States of America.

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A flag from the WTC rubble in 2001.

I won’t spin tales of heroes, sacrifice, and death. I won’t ask you to thank anyone or give a donation. All I ask is that you live honorably. Most service members believe this country is worth enduring a lot of shitty situations. There’s an idea that despite our flaws, America is an amazing place to live full of righteous people who work hard, have personal responsibility, and always try to improve.

Do not let them down; live honorably. Convince the families of the fallen that their loss was worth it. Convince the service members who still toil that their effort is worth it. Take responsibility of your life and actions, respect others, and never, ever stop trying to succeed. Teach others how to do the same.

The only true memorial is to live this way, to live honorably. Everything else is an obligatory charade. This is not a day if celebration, but of remembrance. Lest we forget.

Veteran’s Day 2015

In Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, the Terran Federation is a limited democracy in which full citizenship comes with a price. Earning citizenship and suffrage — the right to vote — was accomplished by two years of voluntary Federal Service. The concept that a society be made of people who have contributed to their country and government was important to Heinlein, who served in the Navy after graduating from the Naval Academy. Earning a voice in government, in Heinlein’s eyes, is better than anyone “who is 18 years old and has a body temperature near 37 °C.”

The idea that veterans are deeply rewarded for their sacrifice is an admirable one; something that would inspire appreciation for gained freedoms and instill a foundation of work ethic. In our society, veterans make analogous sacrifices. First, they pledge an allegiance to uphold the longstanding tradition of morals and honor of their respective country. Second, they knowingly surrender various birth-given rights and are held to a higher standard for their actions. Third, they play their specific role in an organization that provides and maintains the security of freedom for all countrymen. And fourth, they do so with meager compensation and the occasional “thank you.”

Some might say that the veteran has chosen their fate; their own volition led them into their job just as a civilian has chosen theirs. Yet the difference is that veteran made that decision knowing what was at stake. The Airman who works on jets or the Ranger who puts two rounds into an extremist consciously made a decision that subjects them to the needs of their respective branch. They chose to reduce their freedom so that you and I can under appreciate ours.

Many of you will feel noble on these holidays by publicly saying, “Thank you, troops,” but words are dust; they usually blow away with time. I won’t spin tales of heroes, sacrifice, and death. I won’t ask you to thank anyone or give a donation. All I ask is that you live honorably. Most service members believe this country is worth enduring a lot of shitty situations. There’s an idea that despite our flaws, America is an amazing place to live full of righteous people who work hard and have personal responsibility.

Do not let them down; live honorably. Convince the families of the fallen that their loss was worth it. Convince the service members who still toil that their effort is worth it. Take responsibility of your life and actions, respect others, and never, ever stop trying to succeed. Teach others how to do the same.

The only true memorial is to live this way, to live honorably. Everything else is an obligatory charade.

Thank you to current and past veterans for making the choice to serve your country at the expense of limiting the most important values of all: freedom and liberty.

Veteran’s Day 2014

In Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, the Terran Federation is a limited democracy in which full citizenship comes with a price. Earning citizenship and suffrage — the right to vote — was accomplished by two years of voluntary Federal Service (AKA military service). The concept that a society be made of people who have contributed to their country and government was important to Heinlein, who served in the Navy after graduating from the Naval Academy. Earning that voice in government, in Heinlein’s eyes, is better than anyone “who is 18 years old and has a body temperature near 37 °C.”

The idea that veterans are deeply rewarded for their sacrifice is an admirable one; something that would inspire appreciation for gained freedoms and instill a foundation of work ethic. In our society, veterans make analogous sacrifices. First, they pledge an allegiance to uphold the longstanding tradition of morals and honor of their respective country. Second, they knowingly surrender various birth-given rights and are held to a higher standard for their actions. Third, they play their specific role in an organization that provides and maintains the security of freedom for all countrymen. And fourth, they do so with meager compensation and the occasional “thank you.”

Some might say that the veteran has chosen their fate; their own volition led them into their job just as a civilian has chosen theirs. Yet the difference is that veteran made that decision knowing what was at stake. The Airman who works on jets or the Ranger who puts two rounds into a terrorist consciously made a decision that subjects them to the needs of their respective branch. They chose to reduce their freedom so that you and I can under appreciate ours.

Many of you will feel noble on these holidays by publicly saying, “Thank you, troops,” but your words will only accomplish so much. Your support does mean something to a veteran, but you can do so much more with action. While all service members sacrifice, some leave war with mental or physical scars while others return home in a casket draped with their flag. What remains is a person struggling to cope, whether it be with what they could have done to save their best friend or how to move on without their spouse in their life.

70’s Big and I ask you to do more than just speak words today. I ask you to donate $1 to two foundations: The Wounded Warrior Project and The Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Both are legitimate organizations that help veterans or their remaining families in a variety of ways (read their mission statements here and here respectively). I make no apology for asking you to donate your hard-earned, well deserved money; I know it’s hard to come by in today’s economy, yet show your thanks to these veterans with action. I can tell you that veterans, including the fallen or disabled, are powerlifters, weightlifters, strength trainees, CrossFitters, bodybuilders, and S&C enthusiasts. They are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and friends. Some of them need more than words and we have the ability to help them. $1 for each charity is all I ask for you to show that you truly support your troops (Update: The Special Operations Warrior Foundation has a $10 minimum).

Donate to The Wounded Warrior Project here. 

Donate to The Special Operations Warrior Foundation here. 

(Non-American countries can post equivalent charity foundations in the comments)

Thank you to current and past veterans for making the choice to serve your country at the expense of limiting the most important values of all: freedom and liberty.

Halloween Costume Contest

In the past we actually set up a premeditated costume contest. This year, I posted the idea on the day of Halloween, and there was still an amusing response. Here are the contestants with the winner at the very bottom.

Andrew as Slash

Andrew as Slash

Chet as Kissing Booth

Chet as a Kissing Booth

Chris and Family as Ninja Turtles

Chris and Family as Ninja Turtles

Chris as Pumpkin Pie

Chris as Pumpkin Pie

Clay as Duff McKagan

Clay as Duff McKagan

Graham as Jon Snow

Graham as Jon Snow

Iain as Teen Wolf

Iain as Teen Wolf

JT as Walter

JT as Walter

Julian as Bane

Julian as Bane

Liam as the Driver

Liam as the Driver

Matt as Macho Man

Matt as Macho Man

Mike's pup as a unicorn

Mike’s pup as a Unicorn

Paul as a Georgia State Bicycle Cop

Paul as a Georgia State Bicycle Cop

Peter as Pikachu

Peter as Pikachu

Rosco as a Bomber Pilot

Rosco as a Bomber Pilot

Tim as Simon from Adventure Time

Tim as Simon from Adventure Time

William as Hanz or Franz

William as Hanz…or Franz

Mike as Monroe

Mike as Monroe

Kyle as Strong Man

Kyle as an Old Time Strong Man

We couldn’t decide who should win, so these last two guys (Mike and Kyle) will both get a shirt. Guys, send me an email with your address, shirt choice, and size. Well done on respectively disturbing and awesome costumes.

Happy 5th Birthday 70’s Big

On 22 September 2009 this website launched in order to educate people about strength and conditioning as well as entertain. The focus was on being big, muscular, and strong in a time dominated by emaciation. Women were encouraged to train, men were encouraged to pound the calories, and everyone was pushed into competition.

Over the years the site has evolved due to a combination of getting jaded with the same kindergarten material available across the “training-sphere” as well as an obligation to not only teach people to get strong, but to keep them healthy and strong through life. We should all aim to train our bodies, minds, and souls deep into old age. The basic tenants of 70sBig.com remain the same:

– commit to training with reckless intensity
– develop a physique built with performance instead of vanity
– help encourage others in their training
– enter competition for ultimate introspection
– teach and learn about strength and conditioning, mobility, nutrition, anatomy, physiology, fitness, etc.
– tirelessly lead the charge to end misconceptions about females and lifting
– actively work towards changing societal body image
– have a damn good time doing it

The 70's Big Crew, 2013

The 70’s Big Crew, 2013

It’s always been my intention to help people through 70sBig.com. I hope whoever you are, whether you’ve been here since day one or just started reading yesterday, you have gained benefit from this website’s five years of information. When I find the time, I regularly work to improve our knowledge and synthesize material you can implement into your own training and life.

This wouldn’t be possible without all of you. I want to thank all of the readers, new and old. I consider you a part of the 70’s Big Community, one full of crazy assholes who are some of the nicest, hard working, and amusing folks around. The reach of 70’s Big is broad, and it’s comforting to know that we can go almost anywhere in the world, talk about 70’s Big and immediately have a bond with a stranger. “70’s Big takes care of their own,” is a comforting thought. We’ve built something really cool here and this is as much your birthday as it is mine.

To all of my friends around the world — whether I’ve met you or not, held a seminar in your gym, trained with you, or lectured to your unit — thanks for making this fun. And to my close friends who were integral in the creation of this website: thanks for being there for me with your absurd, unique, and loyal personality.

The future is always bright to people who attack it with fervor. 70’s Big will always be around to educate, entertain, and irritate you. The idea of communicating with all of you assholes through old age will, at the very least, be entertaining.

Train hard, get big. Get 70’s Big.

Happy Birthday